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Australia: ARC open access policy takes effect January 1

As from 1 January 2013, any publication arising from research projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) must be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve-month period from the date of publication. This new open access policy will be incorporated into all new Funding Rules and Agreements released after January 2013, but it will not be applied retrospectively.

The new open access policy aims to maximise the benefits of government-funded basic research through timely dissemination of the sponsored publications to a wider community. The policy allows, however, ample breathing space for publishers to continue charging fees for copyrighted articles and for the beneficiaries to legally limit access to the publications within the twelve-month pay-wall period, or beyond, upon justification at the time of Final Report submission. Considered more lenient than the Welcome Trust in the United Kingdom and the National Institute of Health in the United States, both the author's version of the article after peer-review (Word document) and the publisher's version (e.g. journal version with final pagination and formatting) are acceptable under the ARC open access policy. It accepts also dissemination through open access platforms other than institutional repositories, including that provided by publishers.

Having said that, the ARC open access policy has brought higher education institutions back to the centre stage of knowledge dissemination, as institutions are expected to better promote the use of their institutional repositories.

Australian Government – Australian Research Council (ARC)